RETINAL TEAR treatment Mililani HI

Give Up Dry Eyes and Get Back Your Quality of Life

Most of us experience dry, irritated eyes every now and then. The environment can cause our tear film to evaporate too quickly. Getting engrossed in a good novel or social media can cause us to neglect to blink, resulting in temporary redness and grittiness, too. These temporary bouts of dry eye can be frustrating, but they don’t degrade the quality of life for very long. Dry eye syndrome is another story. When eyes are chronically dry, it may not be long until the quality of life diminishes.

It has been estimated that dry eye syndrome affects approximately one-third of all adults. The condition does not stem from the use of a digital device or even dry air. Dry eye syndrome is related to the tears themselves. The ongoing lack of tears can bring a person to rely on eye drops far more heavily than is healthy. Actress Jennifer Aniston confessed that, until her eyes were properly diagnosed, she couldn’t get through the day without eyedrops nearby at all times.

Tears are necessary for the eyes to function properly. The tear film is made up of water and also oil and mucus. Every aspect of the tear film is intended to keep the ocular surface moist; water lubricates, and oil and mucus prevent rapid evaporation. When dry eye develops, we look at the value of the tear film and overall production.

How We Test for Dry Eyes

Symptom assessment can provide a good amount of information to help us diagnose dry eyes. More than identifying the problem, though, we want to understand where the tear film is lacking. Tests like the Schirmer eye test show us how much fluid is being produced by the glands in the eye. A tear breakup test shows us how quickly tears are evaporating from the ocular surface, and a tear osmolarity test helps us measure the content of the tear film, namely water to salt ratio. Depending on the severity of symptoms and how long they have existed, an additional test may be performed to observe the cornea. Excessive, ongoing dry eye can cause damage to this structure of the eye.

Your Mililani eye doctor can help you understand symptoms like grittiness and burning. To learn more about dry eye and how to treat it, call 808.625.5577.

Glaucoma, Mililani HI

Do You Know the Do’s and Don’ts of Living with Glaucoma?

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month, during which we typically discuss the dangers of this group of eye diseases and how to identify the risks associated with them. Because glaucoma comes in second only after cataracts as a leading cause of blindness, awareness if a vital aspect of preserving vision. There is no cure for glaucoma, but several effective treatments have been developed to slow or halt the progression of vision loss.

Increased ocular pressure is the major concern associated with glaucoma. It is the increased and unmanaged pressure in the eyes that can lead to vision loss. When pressure is consistent, it compromises the optic nerve, the structure that transfers light from the retina to the brain. Damage to the optic nerve affects different fields of vision at a time and, once this happens, vision cannot be reinstated regardless of treatment.

For people who have a high risk of glaucoma or have been diagnosed with this eye disease, there are some do’s and don’ts that can help them manage their eye health. While early diagnosis and proper care are vital to the quality of life, so is the development of strategies revolving around ocular pressure. Do’s and don’ts that patients need to know include:

-DO see the eye doctor regularly even if you only have a slight risk for glaucoma. If someone in your family has been diagnosed with this condition, or if you are over age 60, you have enough risk to be assessed regularly for signs of this condition. Individuals who have hypertension or diabetes or who have taken corticosteroid medication for a long period also have a higher risk of glaucoma than the average person. So, the first DO of glaucoma is to see your eye doctor to assess your risk and follow-up on eye health regularly. Also,
-DO maintain good dietary habits. Studies have indicated that leafy greens and fresh fruits and vegetables contain vital antioxidants that could lower the risks of glaucoma up to 30%.
-DO exercise. A study conducted by scientists at UCLA reported that physically active people are up to 75% less likely to suffer glaucoma than individuals who are inactive.
-DON’T do inversions. Over the past several years, yoga and conventional inversion therapy have become popular methods of managing health and wellness. For the person with glaucoma, being upside-down is anything but healthy. Inverted postures send blood into the head and increase ocular pressure.
-DON’T smoke marijuana. Since marijuana has become a widely accepted form of natural medicine, more high-profile people are talking about how they smoke pot to ease the pressure in their eyes. The danger of marijuana use for glaucoma is that some patients have a wide variant of ocular pressure throughout any given day. Using marijuana may decrease ocular pressure but then create a bounce-back effect in which ocular pressure increases dramatically.

Learn more about glaucoma and how to preserve your vision. Call our Mililani office at 808.625.5577.

Eye Care Honolulu, HI

How High Blood Pressure Can Affect Eye Health

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a condition that we commonly associate with heart health. According to studies, high blood pressure often goes undetected for years due to a lack of consistent medical care. Annual physicals with your general health practitioner are as important to your eyes as they are to the rest of your body. Here, we discuss the way that high blood pressure can degrade eye health.

Hypertension in the Eye

High blood pressure means that there is an excessive amount of force being placed on the walls of blood vessels when the heart beats. This increase, over time, causes damage to the various vessels in the body. The blood vessels in the eyes are particularly small and delicate. Without showing symptoms such as pain, these tiny vessels can suffer damage, which we refer to as hypertensive retinopathy.

Ideally, the effects of high blood pressure on the eyes are discovered during a routine annual eye exam. During this assessment, the eye doctor observes the various structures of the eye using an ophthalmoscope, a lighted instrument that illuminates the back of the eye. Signs of hypertensive retinopathy may include visible narrowing of the blood vessels around the retina, macular edema (swelling in the center of the retina), swelling around the optic nerve, and tiny hemorrhages in the eye.

Obvious symptoms of hypertensive retinopathy do not typically occur until the latter stages of disease. By this time, it is possible that vision has been irreparably affected. Symptoms of retinal damage include double vision, cloudy vision, and a sudden loss of vision.

Treatment for Hypertensive Retinopathy

There is currently no treatment available for latter-stage hypertensive retinopathy. Eye doctors grade the stage of retinopathy based on the severity of symptoms and, once the optic nerve has been damaged by hypertension, lost vision may not be recovered. For this reason, it is vital that patients with high blood pressure obtain annual dilated eye exams and annual wellness checkups with their primary care provider.

The best way to treat hypertensive retinopathy is to reduce blood pressure by using lifestyle strategies and medical therapies as needed. In many cases, a reduction in blood pressure leads to an improvement in the condition of the blood vessels in the eye.

Get a detailed view of your eye and eye health. Call our Mililani office at 808.625.5577 to schedule a dilated eye exam with Dr. Omphroy.

Eye Conditions Honolulu, HI

Every Part of the Eye Matters

The eyes are complex structures that contain various parts. Each part, from the cornea to the retina to the optic nerve, has a role to play in the creation of sight. The retina sits at the back of the eye waiting for light to pass through the cornea and vitreous fluid. When light lands on the retina, it transforms into an image that is sent to the brain for recognition. This is all very fascinating. More importantly, it is integral to our understanding of how to keep our eyes as healthy and viable as possible. In our Honolulu area office, patients can receive comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services to support ongoing retinal health.

Promoting Ocular Health

Foods and lifestyle habits nourish the eyes just like any other area of the body. Therefore, habits like eating leafy greens and getting sufficient sleep are valuable to eye health. In particular, there are specific nutrients that are beneficial to the retinas. These include Vitamins C and E, Lutein, Zinc, and Zeaxanthin. Beneficial nutrients are found in nuts, fish, and citrus fruits, as well, but may also be obtained by taking a supplement formulated for eye health.

Does diet solve all concerns? No. Genetics also have a significant effect on a person’s risk for eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration and retinopathy. The objective of eating and living well is to offset the genetic risk over which we have no control. By living well, we don’t just mean getting plenty of rest and nutrition. The eyes are particularly vulnerable to a few lifestyle factors. These include:

  • People who smoke have significantly higher risks for all types of eye disease, including retinopathy, cataracts, and macular degeneration. Quitting this habit allows the eyes to heal over time, so risk is reduced.
  • Digital Devices. Research is continually discovering the downside to modern technology. As it relates to eye health, lifestyle factors like computer use present a risk for chronic eye strain that may lead to premature aging of ocular structures like the vitreous fluid that supports the retina.
  • UV exposure. Sunlight, as well as blue light from digital devices, can damage the internal construction of the eyes. Studies suggest that ongoing exposure to UV light increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration.

Retinal conditions may offer a few clues, such as floaters, flashes of light, and gradual loss of peripheral vision. Don’t wait for symptoms to alert you to a problem. Schedule a comprehensive eye exam at 808-625-5577.

Blocked Tear Duct: What, Why, and How?

blocked tear duct Mililani HI Tears occur so continuously, and naturally, that eye lubrication is not something we usually think about. When we do, it is because something has gone awry. Most often, the type of abnormal tear production that we hear about is dry eye syndrome. Today, we want to go in the other direction and talk about blocked tear ducts, what they are, why they happen, and how this problem may be treated.

What is a blocked tear duct?

The tears that moisten the surface of the eye come from the lacrimal glands. Any excess in production drains into the tear ducts and the nasal passageway. The tiny tubule structure may become blocked, causing tears to back-flow and eyes to water excessively.

Blocked tear ducts are commonly seen in newborns, and often clear without medical treatment. However, there are additional reasons that this condition may develop.

Why a Tear Duct may Become Obstructed

  • Tumor
  • Trauma to the nose
  • Abnormal craniofacial skeletal development
  • Nasal polyps (benign growths inside the nose or sinus)
  • Infected Conjunctiva (aka “pink eye”)
  • Natural Age-related changes in ocular structure

Certain factors can increase the risk of tear duct blockage, including:

  • Chronic inflammation of the eyes
  • Surgery to the sinus or nose
  • Surgery or trauma to the eye near the tear ducts
  • Radiation treatment centered on the face or head

How a Blocked Tear Duct may be Treated

In some situations, no treatment is needed to clear an obstructed tear duct. Treatment should be obtained if redness or swelling become significant. The risk associated with this treated problem is that fungi, viruses, or bacteria may grow in the stagnation of unshed tears, which could lead to chronic infection.

Contact your eye doctor if you experience:

  • Blood-tinge in tears
  • Discharge of pus from the eye
  • Recurrent infection
  • Crust on the eyelashes
  • Blurred vision
  • Excessively watery eyes

In the office of your eye doctor, a thorough consultation is performed along with appropriate diagnostic evaluation that may involve irrigation and drainage testing. Treatment for a blocked tear duct revolves around the cause of excessive tearing. Sometimes irrigating the tear duct, or a course of medication is sufficient for resolution. In some cases, tiny tubes may need to be inserted to support drainage.

We are proud to provide a high standard of eye care to patients from Honolulu and Mililani. Call 808-625-5577 to schedule a visit with us.

Why that 3D Entertainment isn’t Hitting your Sweet Spot

eye conditionsIn recent years, we have seen a new interest in 3D entertainment. Movies out of Hollywood are jumping off the screen to get our attention. If you have attempted to enjoy this type of entertainment but found that your eyes just can’t seem to agree, you’re not alone.

Normal Vision Imitated

The technical action behind 3D imaging is an attempt to imitate the natural workings of the eye. We do observe objects in 3 dimensions as we go about our day. Once images are placed on a screen, however, they are diminished to 2 dimensions. The whole point of 3D is to make the events happening before we feel more authentic. Who doesn’t like the idea of being front and center for that fight between King Kong and Godzilla!

How it Works

Because our eyes are naturally a couple of inches apart, each has its unique perspective. You can test this by closing one eye at a time when you observe your environment. Without moving your head, observe the same environment with the other eye closed. The world looks slightly different when you do this. When we use both of our eyes, the brain fuses these two perspectives to form a singular 3-dimensional view. Pretty amazing!

To recreate this for our entertainment, 3D films are made from two different lenses. These lenses are situated the same average distance as the eyes, a few inches from one another. Because of this technical approach, it is impossible to see the images on the screen clearly without the assistance of special glasses.

Historically, 3D glasses have been filtered; one lens blue and the other red. Today, most of these spectacles are simply polarized. This advancement filter colors in a way that allows images to project 3-dimensionally without obstructing the fullness of all hues.

The trouble with 3D Entertainment?

Have you tried to sit through a 3D movie and found that, even with your special glasses, you cannot seem to focus properly on what is in front of you? This can be frustrating and may also leave you feeling slightly motion sick! If you have had this experience, it could be because your eyes are not fully coordinating their movements. This is referred to as binocular vision, and approximately 30 percent of the population has it to some degree.

Does binocular vision require treatment? Not necessarily, unless you have other eye conditions that are impeding your clearest vision. However, there is no wrong time to get your eyes checked! To schedule a thorough eye exam in the Honolulu area, call 808-625-5577.

A Workout for your Eyes could be Great for your Game

eye exerciseIf you play a sport, you know the importance of practice. Practicing that pitch makes you faster and more accurate. Running sprints can make you more precise on the football field. The list goes on and on and can be tailored to any sport. Did you know that adding a workout for your eyes could actually help your game, whatever that game may be? Here, we will look at some suggested exercises and what they can do for you.

  • Just like you stretch the muscles in your arms and legs that you will use during a sport, you can stretch your eyes. This is an easy practice; all you do is look from an object up close to one about 2 feet away, and then to an object about 20 feet away or farther. This change-up from near to far facilitates the muscular movements needed to maintain visual acuity.
  • Play the sidelines. It is equally as important to be able to visualize objects that are coming from either side of you as it is to see what is directly in front of you. We easily forget to pay attention to our peripheral vision, but we can work this out by spending a short amount of time each day just paying attention to what we see to the sides. Observe as many details as possible.
  • Alternate eyes. Depth perception is a must for all of us. So even if you don’t play a sport on a regular basis, you can benefit from working out one eye at a time. To do this, close one eye while you catch a ball, kick a ball, bounce a ball, or perform some other physical task. Another way to exercise your eyes for depth perception is to perform a task like threading a needle.

There is value in an eye workout for the average person as much as for the avid athlete. Engaging in eye exercises means we have better hand-eye coordination, visual acuity, memory recall, and peripheral vision. Who wouldn’t benefit from that?

If you are experiencing any changes to your vision, schedule an exam with board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Omphroy near Honolulu. Call 808-625-5577.

Eye Surgery, Honolulu, HI

The Dilated Eye Exam: Here’s What it’s All About

eye-dilationIf you are due for an eye exam, you can expect that your doctor will place drops in your eyes that leave you “double-sighted” for a few hours. The short-lived blurriness that stems from dilating the eyes is well worth it. Here’s why . . .

Why Dilation Matters

The eyes naturally become dilated, or widened, in times of low light. The wider the pupils, the more light that is able to reach the back of the eye. During your eye exam, the amount of light that enters the eye equates to how well ocular structures are observed. Many of the common diseases that threaten long term vision have nearly imperceptible symptoms throughout the earliest stages of onset. Dilation gives us the best possible chance at detecting signs of conditions such as:

  • Diabetic retinopathy. This is an important condition to diagnose early because diabetic retinopathy robs more people of their eyesight than any other condition. The dilated eye exam gives us the opportunity to observe symptoms like abnormal growth in blood vessels or leakage from blood vessels in the retina.
  • Dilation enables us to view the details of optic nerve fibers, such as color and shape. Also, through the widened pupil, it is easier to notice heightened cupping where these nerve fibers intersect between the eye and the brain.
  • Age-related macular degeneration, or AMD.  Symptoms that indicate this potentially serious eye condition include clumping of pigmentation beneath the retina, or yellow deposits near that structure.

What to Expect during Dilation

To dilate the eyes, we insert special eye drops. The pupils respond to the solution over about a twenty minute period, after which light is shone into the eye to view the retina. Eye drops may sting a little. Some patients report a medicine-like taste in the mouth from their eye drops. Neither side-effect is typically uncomfortable.

After your exam, you may wear special throw-away sunglasses that wrap around your face. Some patients double the power of these sunglasses by wearing their normal UV protective glasses over them. In addition to blurred vision, most patients will be extra-sensitive to light until the effects of dilation wear off.

You cannot drive after having your eyes dilated, so plan to have a friend or loved one escort you to your exam.

Contact your Mililani ophthalmologist Dr. Carlos Omphroy at 808-625-5577.

Visual Disturbance? It could be an Ocular Migraine.

migraineWe often consult with patients who aren’t quite sure what is happening with their vision; they just know something is not right. Experience any type of visual disturbance, even for a few hours or minutes, can be frightening. If this has happened to you, we encourage you to contact our Mililani office. A thorough eye exam can help us determine whether or not your particular problem is linked to an ocular migraine.

Ocular migraines are different than the standard migraine; and the good news is that they are typically harmless. The primary concern with this condition is to ensure that symptoms are, in fact, caused by the migraine and not another, more serious, underlying cause. Scientists have not determined an exact cause for ocular migraines, but they do suggest that they are related to the temporary disturbance of blood flow to certain parts of the brain. In this instance, that is the visual cortex.

Are your symptoms characteristic of an ocular migraine?
There are several ways that an ocular migraine may present. Every person may have a different experience. Also, symptoms can vary from one migraine to another. Some of the most commonly reported symptoms include:

  • One eye or both eyes may be affected.
  • Vision may be affected for as little as a few minutes, or for hours.
  • A pulsating or shimmering jagged line may appear in the field of vision.
  • Tunnel vision may occur, or a “blank area” may be noticed in central vision.
  • Symptoms may worsen before they dissipate.
  • A mirage effect, like heat waves, may occur.
  • After symptoms start to fade, a slight headache may develop. If pain is severe, the likely cause is a true migraine rather than an ocular migraine.

There are several factors that researchers believe could instigate an ocular migraine. However, sometimes, no cause can be identified. If you have experienced an ocular migraine, it could be due to:

  • A food additive or sensitivity to a certain food or drink.
  • Dehydration.
  • Stress.
  • Fatigue due to lack of sleep.
  • Sensitivity to a certain medication.
  • Hormonal imbalance (possibly from oral contraceptives).
  • Weather changes that affect barometric pressure.

Any type of visual disturbance can cause a great deal of stress. Don’t let this happen to you! Call 808-625-5577 to have your eyes examined.

Are you Enjoying all that Pumpkin Spice? Your Eyes are, Too!

eye nutritionPumpkin. It has long been the poster-child of Autumn, and not just on all those decorations, or the pumpkins we decorate for Halloween. Throughout this time of year, we can also partake of all kinds of pumpkin-inspired treats. Pumpkin spice lattes . . . Pumpkin pie . . . you get the picture. While you may be thinking that you have to think twice about your pumpkin spice obsession, we are going to give you good reason to say “Yes!” to this healthy treat.

The Superfood of Fall
Pumpkin is not only delicious, it is also really good for you! This food is loaded with potassium and fiber, both of which can have a positive effect on your waistline and your blood pressure. Oh, and let’s not forget that pumpkin also does your eyes more than a bit of good. Here’s why:

  • Pumpkins have zeaxanthin and lutein, antioxidants that have a sunscreen effect on the eyes. These two particular antioxidants also fight the free radicals that could cause eye disease.
  • Vitamin A in pumpkin builds eye strength to see well in low-light. The cornea also receives protective power from this vitamin.
  • Vitamin C in pumpkin can help lower the risk for sight-stealing diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts.

Not all Pumpkin Food is Superfood
Before you plan your mornings around that trip to Starbucks, let’s talk about the issue of real pumpkin versus pumpkin flavoring. A good amount of the pumpkin-inspired treats that are sold to us are pretty high in sugar content. Those yummy breads and cakes, and, sadly, even the average pumpkin pie. Sugar-containing pumpkin recipes need not be eliminated from your menu altogether; just take care not to overdo it. Sugar could counteract all the goodness that real pumpkin has to offer.

Want to indulge? Try this:

  • Whip up a pumpkin smoothie sweetened with honey or stevia.
  • Brew a pumpkin soup loaded with fall vegetables.
  • Roast pumpkin as your main course or a tasty side dish.
  • Bake pumpkin seeds and season with a dash of salt.

Fall isn’t really Fall without the robust fruit we love to eat and decorate with. Enjoying healthy pumpkin treats satisfies your taste buds while also nourishing your eyes.
We wish you a happy Fall!

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